One Should Not Live on an Island – Episode 248

One Should Not Live on an Island

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Judy Atwood

Published: February 6, 2021

A cancer journey is not an individual activity; one should not travel it alone.


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Show Notes:

Judy Atwood is a two-time breast cancer patient, who, at the time of her interview, was being treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Chicago. Judy, who was first diagnosed with cancer in December 2018, shares with Rev. Percy McCray the psychological challenges one faces when told they have cancer and how she was able to manage her emotions.

“I had to sit the kids down on the couch three days before Christmas and say, ‘Hey kids, Merry Christmas. Mom has cancer,’” she says.

Judy describes the “rapid cadence” of diagnosis to treatment, and she shares her “miraculous” encounter with a diagnostic clinician and how her cancer journey was used as a case study at a conference.

Judy also discusses the benefits of being connected to a faith community. “When you have a faith community, you’re not alone,” she says. “I feel so sorry for people who do not have it because they don’t have that connection.” Faith, Judy says, is a “club anybody can be in and it’s a wonderful community that sticks together and helps you.”


  • “When you hear the word [cancer], you don’t hear anything after.”
  • “Your mind shuts down and keeps repeating the word in your mind, ‘I have cancer. I have cancer.’”
  • “When you have cancer, you are in the most horrible club ever.”

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